Being a dyslexic, retired teacher the vivid memory of struggling to make sense of words, let alone read a book is still very real to me.

Sadly, I was regarded as “backward” at school (dyslexia was pretty much unknown then) until a wonderful English teacher recognised my struggle and arranged one-to-one sessions where we would read plays together in the lunch break. She changed my life - enabling me to achieve an education and become a teacher myself.
During my teaching career I totally understood what many children were going through - some had little or no encouragement, let alone books to enjoy at home.
Those children in particular needed time and interest from an individual. They needed to see books as fun and as a door they could unlock to a wonderful world for escape, knowledge and imagination.
So when I saw a programme about Coram Beanstalk I immediately wanted to be involved.
As a retired teacher I am able to visit my school and introduce a child to this wonderful world of literature without having to worry about progression through a reading scheme - hopefully that will happen naturally as the child catches the love of reading - we can just have fun together, enjoying books! And what could be nicer than that?!
The training to become a Coram Beanstalk reading helper was excellent. It taught me so much about first approaching books with a child. I wish I had it years ago! It has helped me with reading with my own granddaughter and caused me to adjust some of the practices from my traditional teacher training.
I look forward to this great opportunity to help unlock the wonderful world of books to those children who could so easily just give up and miss out on this vital skill for life.